Iraq

The First Tanker War

If tensions between the US and Iran in the Persian Gulf lead to war, it will not be the first time.

Kut Losses

Two imperial ventures, in the same Middle East town a century apart, reveal the similarities – and differences – in the exercise of power.

The Battle for Oil in the First World War

At the beginning of the 20th century the Great Powers competed for the right to extract the vast oil reserves around the Iraqi city of Mosul. The motivation – and prize – was energy security. 

Stranger than the Nights

Justin Marozzi admires Hugh Kennedy’s article from 2004, which offers a nuanced portrait of the great Abbasid caliph, Harun al Rashid, much-mythologised hero of The Arabian Nights

The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Mesopotamian Philosophy

Possibly some innate realism prevented the Mesopotamians from seeing death other than objectively. But the Epic of Gilgamesh remains an eloquent witness to the poignancy of their interrogation of the meaning of human life and destiny. S.G.F. Brandon.

Iraq's Revolution: Bastille Day in Baghdad

The chain of events that led to the rule of Saddam Hussein began with the murder on July 14th, 1958 of the 23-year-old King Faisal. Antony Hornyold was a junior diplomat at the British embassy in Baghdad at the time.